Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez is an award winning novel written in 2009. The Paquettes run a dairy farm in Vermont but are in danger of losing the farm after their father's accident. The Cruz family is from Mexico and has immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. The story is told through the eyes of two 11-year-olds, Tyler Paquette and Mari Cruz. When Tyler realizes that the Cruzes are undocumented and not legally permitted to work in the United States, he feels conflicted. As the story evolves and he befriends Mari, he begins to see that the issue is much more complex with real people and families at the heart of it. This important book helps students build a deeper understanding of immigration and migrant workers and how friendship can break down stereotypes and build bridges to a better world.
Analyze the narrator's point of view in Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez and explain how it affected the reader's perception of the novel.
RETURN TO SENDER: NARRATOR POINT OF VIEW
MARI CRUZ'S PERSPECTIVE
TYLER PAQUETTE'S PERSPECTIVE
Mari's chapters are narrated in the first person through letters and diary entries. Mari writes about what happens from her perspective and includes many details about her family's life that are unknown to Tyler or revealed later. Mari's chapters allow the reader to better understand her thoughts, feelings, and the full extent of her family's plight.
Tyler's chapters are told in the third person but center on Tyler's perspective. The reader learns about his family's many troubles and how Tyler feels about the Mexican immigrants that have come to help on the farm. The reader sees his conflicting emotions about right and wrong and his growth over the course of the novel. The final Tyler chapter is written in the first person as Tyler writes a letter to Mari signifying that "friendship knows no borders."